Donít Ask: You Dirt Bike Questions Answered

Mar. 31, 2011 By Rick Sieman
If you choose to email a question to this forum, then you must conduct yourself accordingly. Therefore, the following rules are in order:

1. Do not write your email to me IN CAPS. If you do so, I will print out your question and do terrible things to it.

2. Do not request a personal e-mail response. Since I get thousands of questions each month, trying to answer them all would cut deeply into my leisure time, which I value more than your current state of confusion.

3. Try to spell at least in a semi-correct fashion. If you choose to mangle the English language, expect no mercy from this quarter. You might be mocked severely.

4. Do not ask for me to send you copies of my many manuals and literature. I am not in the library business, nor do I want to spend the bulk of my day at the copy machine just because you're too lazy to ask your dealer,  or look around a bit.

5. Don't bother me with truly stupid questions, like how to get 50 more horsepower for a buck and a half

6. Now that you know the rules, think carefully and have at it!

Oh yes Ö Iíll leave your e-mail unedited, for what itís worth.

Recent Donít Ask Columns

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011


Riding with New Forks.  where should i begin looking for yz forks. Is there an alternative upgrade for the ttr230.

There are all sorts of springs and things that you can do to the forks, but none of them are really worth it. I used a set of older YZ 125 forks in our project bike, and they worked great. You can refer to the articles we did to find out the changes necessary to make the swap. I heartily recommend this change, as it gives the bike a whole new personality.
I'm going to try a few other places as well but like the other posts on here, here's the number, can you shed a little light on the subject. #1W4-001070
Jesse Lee

Here are the actual numbers of not only your bike but other models that might be included.
YZ 125 D SERIAL # 1W1-000101 Ė 015610
YZ 250 D SERIAL # 1W3-000101 Ė 006520
YZ400D SERIAL # 1W4-000101 Ė 006720
just wondering roughly what your bike is worth. I have one that is original but needs restoring and I was thinking of selling it?
Melanie George

If you want to take a Yamaha SC 500 and restore it just to have it around, I guess that sort of makes sense. But to have one to ride or race in the vintage class Ö it was a truly bad bike when new, and restoring one back to new original stock condition is an exercise in futility. Yes, there were things you could do to make the bike run better, but all things considered, it was a real piece of crap. If you can find someone to buy it off of you, and it is in good condition cosmetically, take the money closest to 1000 bucks and run like hell.

Hi I am realy suck I dont know what my bike is heres the VIN number 382-008494
Please help.


After an incredible amount of searching, I finally found out what your bike is. It's a 1973 Yamaha AG 100. It was not sold in the United States or Europe, as far as I know, but it's fairly common in the Middle East, New Zealand and Australia. From what I can find out, it was loosely based on the Yamaha LT3.
what about oil filter for 1987 f230 suzuki

Let's get something straight for once and for all. I don't do quads, I don't ride quads and I don't work on quads. Therefore my knowledge about quads is minimal and that's the way I want it to stay. What about the oil filter for your Suzuki? I imagine it's stuck there somewhere in the motor.
On a 1999 yz 400, is it bad to use the decompression lever when kick starting the bike

You definitely should use that lever when firing the bike up.  It will not hurt anything and it should make starting easier and put much less wear and tear on your kickstarter.
Hey where'd you get off telling people off. I mean someone writes you a question in you give a smartass answer to their question and don't even be sometimes answer their question. So who gave you the right and the power to do this?  I mean after all what is your background and were you a great mechanic or somebody knows all the stuff all about motorcycles or what?
Mickey T.

Perhaps being in the dirt bike business since 1969 gave me a little bit of insight about bikes. In 1970, I started Dirt Bike magazine. In late 1974, I took over the helm of Modern Cycle, Dirt Rider and several other publications. In 1979, I once again was the editor of Dirt Bike magazine until 1986 when I became the editor of Off Road magazine. Later on, I was the editor of Old Bike Journal and started working for in the early Ď90s.

During the period of time that I was the editor of various dirt bike magazines, I raced almost every weekend of my life in motocross and desert, and ended up winning three number one District 37 number plates in 1985, Ď86 and Ď87. I raced trucks professionally on Score/HDRA circuit for a decade. At this late point in my life, I'm still racing, but only vintage motocross. So if those credentials don't do anything for you, I'm afraid nothing will satisfy you. Now go away.
                                                ** *
i have a technical question here, wil a crankshaft and bearings from a 1991 kx250 fit in 1997 kx250. the reason for this ? is that i have both a 91 and a 97 the 91 has bad 4th gear and the 97 has a bottom end noise. i would like to keep the 97 going because its a nicer ride.

Nope, to the best of my knowledge those bearings are not interchangeable.
i have a yamaha i belive to be a mx 175 the serial number is 3m2-101610 if im reading your chart right this should be a 1979 mx175f 3m2is what leads me to think that but what is the 101610 telling me
Darwin Dodge

1979 YAMAHA 175 MX

1980 YAMAHA 175 X

According to all the Yamaha information that I have, the serial numbers for 1979 start with 3M2 Ė 000101. The 1980 MX 175G starts with 3M2 Ė 100101, which leads me to believe that you have a 1980 model, not a 1979 model.
which USD forks did you install in the 230f? cr200? did you change the triple clamps? anything else?
Anxiously waiting.... thanks

The very first fork swap that we did in our project series was with a conventional set of 1986 CR 125 forks and they worked quite well. Later on, just to push the envelope, we installed a set of 2002 CR 125 upside down forks. All things considered, the new forks were not that much better than the 86 models. So take it from there.
I bought a 1975 DT4 399cc yamaha enduro.I cannot find anything[manual,part s]about this bike.I think I'm in the twilight zone when it comes to info.In the list on the websites,they don't even list the model.lha

Youíve got one of those miserable yellow-tanked 400 Enduros that weighed 300 lbs. and put holes in pistons on a regular basis. That particular Yamaha enduro was probably one of the most unreliable bikes Yamaha ever made and sold to an unsuspecting public. It pinged, rattled and detonated something fierce, and in between the noise that it made, it seized up tighter than a two-dollar drum. It was a real pile of crap, in my less-than-humble opinion. The manual for the bike is worth about the same as the bike itself. Do yourself a favor and get rid of that thing.

Re: Should I get a smaller bike? Why 500s are best
I agree wholeheartedly! I found myself thinking "maybe I SHOULD get a smaller bike" on several occasions,But then, for all the reasons you mentioned, I brought myself back to reality. You are absolutely right! (and when I was thinking this, I was usually 3 hours into an enduro, and exhausted) It really wasn't the bike's fault. Then as I receive my trophy, I think "what the hell was I thinking?
Al Mattera

If you ride shorter races, such as vintage motocross (the motos last about 15 minutes), a bigger bike is a definite advantage. However, if you're into longer events such as an enduro, then the smaller bike can and will work to your advantage.
dose a 1974 super combat,hodaka have oil injection?
Ray Jacobs

No, that particular bike does not have oil injection. You'll have to run regular premix in the gas tank like most old Hodakas.
 Get the first four years of DIRT BIKE Magazine on discs. Those early copies are getting hard to find and the ones in the first year (1971) are going for big bucks. Hereís what you get:

*   Every issue from June of 1971 through all of 1974. That June í71 issue was the very first issue. I worked on all of these magazines until that last issue in 1974. Youíll see a big difference in content in that last issue and the ones that preceded it.

*  Every issue has every page included. All the color pages are reproduced in color. You can print out every page if you want to, since the issues were produced in Picasa 3 format.

*  Or you can put it in your computer (or CD/DVD player) and simply enjoy a slideshow of each and every year. There are seven discs included in the package. Each disc contains one-half of a year (six issues) in order. This comes to about 4400 pages total.
Hereís how to work the discs: Pop a disc in your computer and open it. An icon saying PICTURES will appear. Left click it.

Another icon will appear naming the disc (ex: DIRT BIKE 2nd HALF 1974). Left click it. This will bring up a bunch of dates/icons. Left click on the first one.

This will open up Picasa 3 and the first page of the magazine. Go to the bottom of the photo with your cursor and this will reveal the tool bar for Picasa 3. Itís self explanatory. You can make the page bigger or smaller, rotate the page, edit the page in Picasa, advance to the next page, make a slideshow out of the magazine by clicking the arrow in the middle, or simply print the page out by going to the down arrow (far right), click it and follow the directions.

The seven disc set costs $70 plus $5 for priority mail.  So get your very own piece of history.   go the STORE for  details. Newsletter
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